The festival has been drawing enthusiasts from across Long Island, Queens and Manhattan to Bay Shore for the past six years. The 2019 installment happens on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 3:30 to 7 p.m., and will feature 25 whiskeys and 10 bourbon barrel-aged beers.
Finley’s co-owner Drew Dvorkin says sipping whiskey is a natural this time of year.
“People drink seasonally,”said Dvorkin, the T.J. Finley’s co-owner who hosts the event. “Starting in the fall, and continuing through the winter, people do a good deal of exploring and experimenting with different whiskies and whiskey cocktails. They ask questions and taste-test to find their favorites.
Most people head to Bay Shore to see what’s new from their favorite brands, discover newcomers, and educate themselves on what’s trending, he said.
This year’s festival comes off a 2018 in which the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reported record sales and volume of sprits. Reporting for the council, thief Economist David Ozgo points to the strongest growth in high-end premium and super premium products across most categories.
One of the key drivers of growth included American Whiskey, up 8.1 percent or $252 million to $3.4 billion, according to reports.
Festival-goers get unlimited samples of whiskeys and beer.
This year’s installment features a Irish coffee station, sponsored by Jameson. Unlimited BBQ food is also included with each ticket purchased. And, attendees get a commemorative glass. The cost is $95 per ticket.
The festival also helps raise funds for Gavin’s Got Heart, a local 501c3 charity that provides financial and emotional support for families with children affected by congenital heart defects.
“The Winter Bourbon Festival is one of our favorite events of the year,” said Dvorkin. “It’s great to spend a winter afternoon sipping amazing whiskey, enjoying a good cigar, and eating barbecue with friends — all while supporting a worthwhile cause.”
IF YOU GO:
Tickets for the Winter Bourbon Festival are $95 for general admission and $15 for the non-drinking designated driver. Tickets are on sale now at www.winterbourbonfestival.com but a limited number are available.
Top: 2017 Bourbon Fest photo by Ethan Meyer of That Guy Event Photo + Design/courtesy of T.J. Finley’s